To those who don’t see deeply

you are bland, lifeless, dull.

Color does not distract from

your humble beauty.

I see your true essence.

You are stripped,

bare, essential.

This is the way of things.

I like you like this.

I have always commemorated

the inevitable waning of autumn

with wistful longing for what was.

Now, I’m content knowing

your time marks the

boundary in between.

This space allows for

a settling in.

Your stillness holds me.

You are reassuring and solid.

How manifold you really are.

With leaves absent,

foundations of things

come into view.

All adornment and ornamentation

have departed.

“Hello branch! I never noticed

you before! How long and knotty

you are!”

If only I could mirror

your humble, quiet strength.

I watch you pull in,

push your essence down.

How magnificent that

you know to do this!

You fortify yourself to embrace

the pain in your future.

In so doing,

your struggle is lessened.

I take your teaching

to my breast.

I feel roots growing from my feet.

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© 2020 Susan Duesbery

United States